This won’t be the sexiest team reveal on the site this week. It’s a fairly “safe” team, in which I’ve picked exposed AFL form over JLT only form, which has removed the prospect of picking a lot of the more tempting $250K-$300K mid-priced options that came up during the pre-season games. This has resulted in picking more expensive options, but there are still a few “growth” players in here, which are slightly cheaper that ultra premo selections that I feel will improve upon some very promising scores they produced in 2018 and move up to the top 15% of their line.
This is my team. I hope you like it.
Pretty standard stuff here. Rory Laird is a gun, Kade Simpson is a gun and despite the lack of long sleeves he displayed during the JLT series I’m still backing him in to have a quality year. Harris Andrews displayed some excellent form last year, his Round 4-12 average sat at 106.6 SCPoints, unfortunately he was hurt in Round 14 and took a few weeks to get back up and running again, but ended the year with 3 scores of 91, 96 and 91. Any average of 95+ has you on track for a top 5 finish in defence, taking out his injury game in Round 14 where he scored 22 puts his average for 2018 @ 92.3. I think that presents quality value for his price. It isn’t going to take a huge leap from him to become a top scoring defender for 2019. Andrews is an example of a growth player I talked about in the intro.
The rest are rookies and like all rookies are dependent on Round 1 selection. Jack Scrimshaw and Jordan Clark looked really good during the JLT, as did Xavier Duursma at times, so I’m feeling OK with their selections to round out my back 6.
Jack Macrae and Patrick Cripps will be in most every side, which is understandable. Nathan Fyfe is life, he didn’t play JLT, I don’t care, he’s one of the best in the league and can still produce despite that. Only in 22% of teams at the moment, which is way under owned for his talent level, hopefully that works in my favour early in the year. Angus Brayshaw looked really good in the 2nd half of last year, if he can produce what he did over the last third of 2018 over the entire year he’s a very good chance to be a top 10 midfielder for 2019.
Brad Crouch is under-priced for what he can produce, I know everyone will throw in the injuries, which is a legit concern, but the Crows brought in Steve Saunders this year who any North Melbourne fan knows is excellent at injury prevention, so the hope is his work + the groin surgery last year along with all the work he’s done over the pre-season gets him in career best shape. If it wasn’t for Saunders coming aboard I’m not sure I’d be making this selection and would probably go with Matt Crouch instead, but I have some real (some will say biased and/or hopeful) confidence in him this year. Picking a slightly cheaper Crouch also allows me to pump a bit more cash into my ruck line for a certain selection.
I wasn’t super gung-ho on Sam Walsh due to his price, so he’s in dependent on the Round 1 rookies being named, but on the small sample size of the JLT games he looks to be the best of the bunch available. Zak Butters was fantastic in the JLT, as was Charlie Constable, Bailey Scott and Tom Atkins, so they’re all in for now. I really liked Jackson Hately in the SANFL last year, he played senior football, got into the guts with the grown-ups and handled it well, but also pushed into the forward pocket and spent some time there, which I think helps his AFL chances a bit more since he isn’t likely to be a full-time mid at AFL level yet.
Brodie Grundy and Max Gawn. It’s a HUGE investment initially, but you’re paying for the best of the best. They’re both a clear tier above the likes of Goldstein and Martin, so I think they’re worth the cash. Reilly O’Brien is likely to get games at some point in the year, so I’ve selected him here in the hopes of some cash generation. Having Grundy, Gawn, Danger, Fyfe, Cripps and Macrae gives me enough Captain options that I’m willing to go without the loophole option here.
Can’t go past Patrick Dangerfield and I think Isaac Heeney is going to take his game up another notch in 2019. As much as I hate to admit it, Robbie Gray is one of my favourite players to watch and his ability to go into the midfield and rack up stats as well as kick goals up forward makes him one of the best options for the forward line. Will Setterfield, Willem Drew and Jack Petruccelle looked like the best forward line options to come through the JLT. Chris Burgess is going to be a total rollercoaster of a selection and Noah Balta is still a question mark at this stage as I’m not sure if he gets up for Round 1.
So that’s my team. I’m pretty happy with how it’s turned out and don’t think it’ll be tinkered with at all between now and Round 1, apart from my rookie selections of course.